How did Shakepeare & Co. snag the URL shakespeare.org?
Wouldn’t you expect this broad, exclusive URL to have been snapped up, early on, by a British theater group, a Shakespeare library, a publishing house—or a broker maneuvering in the world of high-value web addresses? The world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company in the U.K. had to settle for rsc.org.uk. New York’s Shakespeare theater offerings are obscurely housed under website tabs in centralpark.com and publictheater.org. And theshakespeareync.com? Sounds like a great theater venue, but forsooth! It’s a pub on East 39th Street. How, pray tell, did Shakespeare & Company do it?
In the early 1990s, a student at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox who also was working at MIT, had heard about the Internet and aol.com. Having just finished taking an acting workshop, he and the theater company’s then-marketing director decided to secure shakespeare.org.
“Nobody knew if the Internet was a flash in the pan or not,” says Elizabeth Aspenlieder, with Shakespeare & Company. “When Shakespeare & Company created its first website in 1995, that was our domain.”
For the record, shakespeare.org was first registered as a URL on November 27, 1995, and in 2013, the URL was renewed again for ten years.
And what about shakespeareandcompany.com? It leads to two famous Paris bookstores on the Left Bank.